4 Reasons You Have Anxiety - Part 2
Last time we talked about Genetics & Conditioning as well as Technology & Lifestlye being factors that contribute to Anxiety, but here are my favourite anxiety culprits – Food and Thought patterns! Keep reading and get yourself informed so that you can take away the power of your anxiety, like, yesterday!
1. Food Quality
Preservatives, additives, sugar, emulsifiers and processed foods are NOT conducive with living an anxiety free life. The way that these types of toxic ‘foods’ affect our health begins in our gut. While the gut and digestive system work to breakdown and sort out the good from the bad to provide us with the nutrients we need, the body also has to work over time to process the chemicals, preservatives and sugars found in most of the fast food and processed foods that we have come to love so much. Too much of these types of foods will lead to an imbalance of good gut bacteria and that is where the link to anxiety begins. With our gut producing up to 90% of the bodies serotonin it is obvious why we need to treat it right (and by treat it right I mean feed it right) Serotonin is our ‘feel good’ hormone ... so if our gut bacteria has gone WACK and we aren’t producing enough.. we ‘ain’t gunna feel good’!
The other thing to consider is simply the fact that our body needs fuel to run smoothly and efficiently. Fats, carbs and proteins are essential for building muscle, brain function, hormone production and generally optimal health! We need good quality food to function at our best so that means cut the crap – take away, packaged, processed and sugary foods! Get more of the good stuff like fresh fruit and veg, nuts and seeds, legumes and wholegrains as well as good quality meats and dairy.
2. Cognitive function/thought patterns
This refers to the patterns that your thoughts follow and the way that your mind behaves. This knowledge is key to understanding your anxiety better and once you recognise any unhealthy thought patterns and worrying ‘rabbit holes’ that you are inclined to go down, you then have the power to change it. HELL YEAH, GIVE ME THE POWER!
An example of this is when we tell ourselves quietly day after day or hour after hour that “I am not good enough”. This repeated language is unhelpful and incorrect. 9 times out of 10 there is no evidence to prove this statement is correct and using language like this does not serve us. If you can stop yourself from thinking a negative thought such as this, you can catch it, flip it and replace it with a positive alternative such as “all I can do is my very best and that is enough”. Repeatedly thinking unhelpful thoughts like this leads to tight muscles, short breaths, nervousness, low mood and the list of physical symptoms goes on. Once you recognise those thoughts you can stop them in their tracks and send them packing!
Another example is catastrophizing or over thinking things. ‘Anxious Annies’ and ‘Nervous Nellies’ are great at running scenarios and possible outcomes around and around in their minds. One simple thought of going on an overseas trip could lead to sickness, getting lost, muggings and of course the plane crashing – all in a matter of minutes! All of which are definitely possible but of course not PROBABLE. Practice stopping yourself midway through one of these rabbit holes, find solid information to back yourself up with evidence that this WILL NOT happen to you ( which I’m sure you can do because the likelihood is nearly zero ) remind yourself that any of these ‘issues’ would be out of your control anyway and carry on with the holiday planning.
Understanding these 4 key reasons why you are anxious is a great start to managing your symtoms. If you are wanting help to get on top of your own anxiety contact me through my website today.